Father and son attackers behind bars for assault on teenager

Alan Charlton, 41, and Connor Charlton, 20, have been sentenced at Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Devo

Alan Charlton, 41, and Connor Charlton, 20, have been sentenced at Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Devon and Cornwall Police - Credit: Archant

A father and son who ‘took the law into their own hands’ by breaking into a house and attacking a teenager with a weapon have been jailed.

Alan Charlton, aged 41, and his son Connor, aged 20, were sentenced at Exeter Crown Court on Wednesday, March 18, after admitting last month to assault causing actual bodily harm.

The court heard that on March 12 2018, the pair smashed a window of a home in Sidmouth, and attacked the victim, aged 16, with a wooden pole and metal bar.

The prosecution told the court the victim was pushed into a bedroom before being kicked and struck over the head. Other people were also present in the house during the incident.

The court heard the victim curled up into a ball and that blood was ‘pouring everywhere’ after being struck, and his leg was injured.

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Following the attack, the pair left in a blue Volkswagen and were arrested later by police and interviewed the same evening, denying any involvement.

The court heard how the men were found to have been under the influence of drink and drugs.

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Prosecutor Adrian Chaplin said: “There was an issue and it would appear it was a premeditated attack. Alan Charlton and Connor Charlton decided to take things into their own hands.

“They have driven to the location, dressed up in dark clothes in what amounts to a disguises.”

Kelly Scrivener, representing Alan Charlton, told the court the father-of-two had acted out of concern for a vulnerable person whom he felt had become involved in drug activities.

In mitigation she said: “He became involved in this incident. It wasn’t his fight to have. He shouldn’t have behaved in the way he did.”

A probation officer said both defendants accepted their actions were wrong and that they had been driven to act to protect a vulnerable person.

During the trial, Connor Charlton, 20, of Whimple, was also sentenced for harassment of an off-duty police officer in Clyst Hydon on six different occasions in 2017, which was adjourned to Wednesday.

The judge gave him a 12-month sentence in a young persons’ detention centre for the assault and a further two-month sentence for admitting to the harassment charge, with a driving disqualification of six months and restraining order prohibiting him from contacting the officer or his family or entering the area highlighted in the order.

Judge Peter Johnson sentenced Alan Charlton to 18 months in prison, reduced to 15, with time in remand and curfew also taken into account.

Judge Johnson said: “It was a sustained attack and use of weapons. Fortunately he suffered just cuts and bruises and a slightly bad leg. There were other people present when you carried out that act. You were under the influence of drink and drugs and you were caught a little while later.”

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